Investigators making progress in traffic death of Gazette news carrier Alice Robinson
One week after a Niagara Gazette newspaper carrier was run down by a hit-and-run driver, Falls police say they’ve made “dramatic” progress in their search for the car and driver who killed Alice Robinson.
“We are progressing in our investigation,” Falls Police Traffic Division Capt. Salvatore Pino said. “We have gotten some valuable help from the public, but we could use some more.”
A witness said Robinson, 67, 1619 Niagara St., was attempting to cross Ferry Avenue at 4:32 a.m. on Dec. 23 when she was struck by a car that then left the scene at a high rate of speed. The car is described as a late 1980s, early 1990s full-sized Cadillac, gray or dark colored.
Evidence recovered at the scene, investigators said, confirms that description of the car. So far though, police have not been able to find the vehicle.
“Obviously, it would be a huge help if we can recover the car,” Falls Police Detective Capt. Ernest Palmer said.
Police Criminal Division detectives joined in the hit-and-run investigation late last week.
“Because this (accident) resulted in a death, it’s no longer strictly a traffic matter,” Pino said. “So we’ve joined forces with the (criminal) detective bureau and they are bringing their resources to the investigation.”
The accident took place at the corner of 18th Street and Ferry Avenue, where Robinson had just delivered a newspaper to a house and was attempting to cross Ferry Avenue when she was struck. Robinson was hit and then rolled along with the car before coming to rest about 20 feet from the initial point of impact.
When police and firefighters arrived on the scene, they found Robinson lying in the street with multiple fractures to her legs and arms and a head wound. She was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, where she was treated but later died from the injuries.
Investigators believe the car that hit Robinson suffered significant damage to the passenger side front end, including a smashed headlight.
Pino said the driver of another vehicle was at the corner of 19th Street and Ferry Avenue at the time of the accident and saw the car that hit Robinson run the red light there and turn down a side street. The driver then backed his car up to the accident scene and blocked traffic to keep Robinson from being hit again.
Robinson had been an independent contractor delivering newspapers for the Gazette since 2004.
“We are looking for more information in this case,” Palmer said, “and we’re hoping the public can help us some more.”
Contact reporter Rick Pfeifferat 282-2311, ext. 2252.